Learning: A Fun Exercise Not a Burden


Real education begins before a person learns to speak and continues throughout their entire life. Children learn through their surroundings and all their success in future depends on their ability to learn from these surroundings, writes Sonal Ahuja, Founder, House of Learning and Co-Founder, Shri Ram Foundation preschools, for Elets News Network (ENN).

Sonal Ahuja
Sonal Ahuja, Founder, House of Learning and Co-Founder Shri Ram Foundation preschools

All of us have significantly observed that learning ability is stronger in infants than adults. As we grow up and start dwelling ourselves into the prevailing education system, we start adopting clichéd methods of learning and ultimately what we gain is not wisdom but just information which doesn’t stay with us and withers away in no time.

It’s crucial to understand that learning is the key to a child’s future. But, do we know there are tricks to learn? Have we ever thought of teaching our children those tricks or methods that can make learning a joyful experience for a child?

There are ways to make children and adults undergo the process of learning in the most systematic and organised manner. Listed are a few pointers that one should work on:

Nurturing learning habits among kids

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Most of the times, the concepts, and learning structures are designed in a way that the learner starts finding ways to escape studying. The idea is to create the habit in a learner to know and gain knowledge.

If children want to learn something, they’ll do it in every possible way. We must make them believe that there is no end to the plethora of knowledge in this world and thinking ‘you know it all’ wouldn’t work. The idea is to drive the urge for knowledge in them that will make learning fun in itself.

The art of questioning

Learning is not only about reading anything and grabbing the information. It is actually about studying and asking a lot of questions. We must leave children free to be open to clearing all their doubts while they learn. This will help them explore and discover more. The problem is that people are not aware of the right way to study and therefore learning becomes difficult for them.

It’s not about passing exams

Are you telling your child to learn from a textbook because he/she has a test to pass?

The race to finish curriculums, score exceptionally great and be the topper of the class leads to practices like rote learning and muddling information. Every child has a pace with which he/she learns but the whole rat race finishes their thirst for knowledge and leaves them helpless.

How is your child actually learning?

Someone rightly said if you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you. It’s imperative to acknowledge that how we learn is a much more important question than why we learn.

There are some tricks and techniques that educators have to make learning an interesting endeavour for a child. Overcoming barriers that disrupt the learning process is an extremely important step. The solution is to identify them. We have to follow the right process to learn anything.

With this if schools also start looking into their own culture and setup, they will find many loopholes in their processes.

Recently, during a talk at one of the reputed schools, a question from senior student made me ascertain some crucial aspects of the education system. The question was, “What should I do for better grades?”

I asked why were grades so important to him? He replied: “That’s how you get into a good college which ultimately gives you a stable job.”

It’s crucial to understand that learning is the key to a child’s future. But, do we know there are tricks to learn? Have we ever thought of teaching our children those tricks or methods that can make learning a joyful experience for a child?

I don’t need to emphasise the importance of education in building a strong nation. But there are loopholes that are destroying the actual abilities of children and killing their creativity as individuals. Let’s have a look at some of them:

There is no room for mistakes

As Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker, once stated: “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”

Our education system follows the standard set of rules and regulations that have been passed over the generations. Mistakes and risks are the last things schools and parents allow the child to take. How will children learn unless they experiment? This ultimately forces them to follow the mainstream and shuns their ability to think out of the box.

The fear of failure

Since childhood, we are forced to work hard on different subjects where we’re expected to score magnificently well in each one of them. What if the child is good at literature and mathematics doesn’t interest him/her? But the kind of pressure and fear of failure parents and teachers inculcate in a child’s mind leads him/her to focus on abilities rather than the creative capacity and expertise.

Schools believe that it is imperative to create a standard curriculum for students to follow. However, it is not mandatory. Schools can create divisions depending upon different areas of interests which students can freely choose from.

Studying and learning are not same

Attending school, memorising facts and reading lessons is entirely different from gaining knowledge and experiencing learning. It is not important if a student is studying or doing something else, he/she might learn out of it too.

Learning is an experiential concept. Being in environments that are learning-oriented, moving beyond textbooks and indulging into discussions is much more important than memorizing information.

Strive for excellence, not for grades

Competition and comparison have led to severe problems. Students, from the very beginning, are encouraged to be amongst the “top five” in the class, thereby, igniting the spirit of competition.

It is this pressure only that has led to suicide cases over the years. Therefore, it is crucial to accept how every child is unique, has different interests and will find a way to a sustainable life.

The purpose of education is to bring out the best in a child. Let’s make sure they don’t lose themselves in the process.

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